Salt Water Taffy Vol. 1: the Legend of Old Salty

by Matthew Loux

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Softcover, black & white, $5.95

ISBN: 978-1-932664-94-2

Reviewed by: School Library Journal

Gr 3–6—In the tradition of great adventure stories, this charming offering starts off with a detailed map of ChowderBay, a quintessential slice of coastal Maine. Brothers Benny and Jack are about to discover that their quaint summer vacation spot is not as boring as it first appears. Benny first realizes that there is a mystery to solve when a lobster pops out of the salt-water taffy bin at the local candy store and pinches him on the hand. After meeting Angus O'Neil, a burly fisherman with a broad, confident grin and a pipe in hand, the boys learn of the legend of Old Salty, a monstrous sea creature. The adventure kicks off from here as they tackle the town's mysteries head-on. The appealingly angular and thick-lined art gives the characters a bounding energy. Benny and Jack are especially kinetic, with exuberance bursting from their jutting chins, gangly limbs, and floppy hairdos. In contrast, ChowderBay is drawn with more detailed and delicate care, bringing the flavor of this salty port town to life. With its strong art and nicely paced action, this book will surely appeal to a wide audience.—Lauren Anduri, Brooklyn Public Library, NY